Friday, March 15, 2013

Lunch Made Easy: @CrunchAColor Healthy Lunches

Crunch a Color® is an award winning nutrition game that's aimed to help make healthy eating fun!

I was thrilled when Jennifer, the mom and creator behind this healthy eating game, sent us her products to try. Little Miss, of course, looked forward to beating me in points for the week! Challenge accepted!

Just because you eat gluten free or your kiddos are in a nut free school, doesn't mean you have to sacrifice creativity, protein, or your healthy grains.

The Crunch a Color® lunch time goal is to use 3+ color cards, a protein, and a healthy grain. To show just how easy it is to incorporate the game into your every day lunches, here are five simple ideas you can try for your entire family! 

No crazy cutters, supplies, or tools needed. Just your preferred lunch box and good food

Simple, healthy, and fast to pack! Little Miss racked up 55 points with this EasyLunchboxes packed lunch box alone! 
  • Healthy Grain: Whole Grain Gluten Free Bagel & Oats in her Crunch a Color® No-Bake Bitty Bites.
  • Protein: Sunflower seed spread in her No-Bake Bitty Bites and the lunch meat and cheese on her bagel sandwich.
  • 3+ Colors: White - Cauliflower, Yellow - Banana, Orange - Carrots on her salad, Green - Spinach. Her No-Bake Bitty Bites also contain raisins. 

My daughter loves when she can dip or dunk her finger foods. This Zucchini Hummus recipe is easy to make and delicious with crackers and fresh veggies, as pictured. 
  • Healthy Grain: Multi-Grain gluten free crackers
  • Protein: Sunflower seed spread in her hummus and rolled up lunch meat bites 
  • 3+ Colors: Red - Strawberries, Red - Radishes, Orange - Carrots, Green - Zucchini
How to Make Zucchini Hummus

1 medium zucchini, sliced
3 Tablespoons of sunflower seed spread
1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1.5 teaspoons of garlic powder

Place all ingredients in your blender or food processor. Mix until creamy. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

We love baking our own gluten free breads. One that Little Miss requests the most is Blueberry Oatmeal Bread. It's delicious for breakfast or packed up for lunch! 
  • Healthy Grain: Whole Grain gluten free flour and Oats for the Blueberry Oatmeal Bread
  • Protein: Greek yogurt in the bread and cheese slices
  • 3+ Colors: Blue - Blueberries, Orange - Carrots, Green - Pear dices & grapes, Orange - Cara Cara Orange slices

CRUNCH a Salad with Crunch a Color®! I'm fortunate that Little Miss loves salads, so I pack them frequently for the both of us. That's how I got her interested in them in the first place - by setting the example a few years ago. I would sit down at the table with my big bowl of spinach *gushing* about how delicious it was... all the nutrients and vitamins it provided... she was suddenly interested in knowing what this delicious 'thing' was Mama kept eating! ;) 
  • Healthy Grain: Multi-Grain gluten free crackers
  • Protein: Cheese slices and lunch meat roll-ups
  • 3+ Colors: Green - Kale, Romaine, & Cabbage on her salad, Orange - Carrots, Red - Apple dices 

This was Little Miss' first time eating Brussels Sprouts. I love them and was excited to introduce them to her in a new way. She just liked getting the bonus points for trying a new food! 

She thought they were 'so cute' when she helped me pick out the exact ones we wanted from the market. I knew I needed to present them in a delicious way for her and that's when I got the idea to stuff them with chicken salad! Oh man, they are good too. I now have a new lunch favorite for myself. 
  • Healthy Grain: Organic popcorn
  • Protein: Greek yogurt and Chicken in the salad
  • 3+ Colors: Green - Brussels Sprouts, Red - Apple slices, Purple - Grapes 
  • Bonus Points: Try a New Food! 

How to Make Greek Yogurt Stuffed Brussels Sprouts
Double or Triple the recipe, as needed

1/2 cup of diced (cooked) chicken breast
5-6 fresh brussels sprouts (the larger in size the better
2 Tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of whipped cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper 
1 cup of water (for boiling)
Pinch of salt

Wash brussels sprouts and slice vertically. On your stove top, add about a cup of water and pinch of salt into a medium size pan and place brussels cut-side down into the water. Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes. Drain and let cool completely.

Once they are cooled, you can remove the core with a pairing knife. Set the sprouts aside when done. 

Keep 2-3 of the cores and dice. (You can keep the remaining cores too, if you'd like, for additional chicken salad or for topping on a fresh salad). 

In a medium size bowl, combine your diced chicken, Greek yogurt, cream cheese, diced brussels sprouts cores, and pepper. 

Begin assembling your stuffed sprouts, by spooning and packing the chicken salad into them. Enjoy!

Little Miss loves her new Crunch a Color® game! It's been so fun watching her count up her points for the day, use the conversation cards at dinner time, and work so hard to beat her Mama! We're looking forward to continuing use of our game and trying even more healthy foods.




  1. Great post!

    giveaway on my blog :)

  2. Such an awesome post Keeley! I love all the lunches! And I love the stuffed brussels sprouts!!

  3. That looks like a great way to get the kids to eat new healthy foods. Will have to look into getting them for my older child. She can be difficult to make meals for as she doesn't like a lot of foods. The younger one would dominate the points as I have only found a few foods she doesn't like.

  4. I love your post! It is very important that children get the proper nutrition required as it can be difficult to make their meals or even get them to eat!

    Here's my question to you:
    My name is Sundip Khosa and I am a thirday year student at the University of British Columbia. I have been working on a Biology project concerning the role media has on a child's eating habits. I recently posted the following question on my facebook:

    How does media play a role on a childs eating habits and how that, in turn has an impact on a family's eating dynamics?

    Immediatley I received a number of replies and I noticed two things:
    1) Most people were indicating a child's eating habits are not influenced by media as much as they are their parents
    2)The media targets children as they are seen as vulnerable.

    When was the last time you heard your child say "I want that happy meal because of the toy?"

    I'd love to hear your opinions!

    All the best, S

    1. Hi Sundip, great questions!
      Media does play a role because when my kiddo sees a commercial for a sugary sweet snack OF COURSE she's interested! Especially when the commercial or ad includes popular music, bright colors, or heaven forbid a giveaway with it! ;)
      However, since my daughter has food allergies and intolerances she also know she can't have most of the junk to begin with, so Mama will try to recreate a healthier version anyways - like our homemade poptarts (
      Parents *are* the biggest influencers though. When I lead by example, it prompts her to try better more good for me foods. That's how I got her interested in spinach in the first place, as mentioned in my post above.
      I also teach her the importance of eating healthy, about our food groups, providing nutrients and vitamins for your body, and what the ill effects of (too much) junk food are.
      My daughter will always ask for the toy in a happy meal. We don't do fast food, hardly ever. She simply can't eat it with her dietary restrictions. If there's something she really wants, you can actually buy the toys for a dollar (no food required). So we can walk out with a toy, bag of apples for her, and unsweetened ice tea for Mama with no harm done. :)


Let me know your thoughts!

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